B.C. Ferries seeks ship-to-ship LNG delivery

B.C. Ferries is looking for companies to provide a ship-to-ship delivery service of liquefied natural gas to five new major vessels.

This service would see a barge carry LNG to a ferry, Deborah Marshall, B.C. Ferries spokesperson, said Friday.

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Currently, trucks deliver LNG to ferries in the same way that diesel fuel is delivered. A truck arrives at a terminal, drives onto the deck of the ship and refuels the tank, Marshall said.

“The new major vessels we are planning to build may have larger fuel tanks than the Spirit class, and the delivery trucks can only carry so much fuel.”

The planned five new ferries have not yet been designed, so their fuel tank size has not been determined, Marshall said.

The Spirit of British Columbia and the Spirit of Vancouver Island have been retrofitted to run on LNG and on diesel fuel.

A barge-to-ship service would be able to service the Spirit class ferries as well, Marshall said.

“We are just testing the market to see the potential options for fuel delivery.”

The request for expressions of interest in providing the service was published on Friday. It closes July 9.

B.C. Ferries plans to build five new ferries to replace Queen of Alberni, Queen of New Westminster, Queen of Coquitlam and Queen of Cowichan, all used to carry passengers to and from Vancouver Island. B.C. Ferries describes the replacement plan as “one of the biggest projects ever undertaken.”

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